To the Editor:
The Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Associates and Sojourners stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters. Persons and families who migrate in search of protection or for a better life for themselves should be protected from harm and welcomed. President Trump’s executive orders on immigrants and refugees cause us great concern.
We do support comprehensive immigration reform which provides:
• A realistic path to earned legalization for people in the U.S. without status;
• Restoration of due process protections and reformed detention policies for those detained;
• An effective program for new permanent resident petitioners with family unity as a priority;
• Enforcement of employment and labor rights for all workers;
• Keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
• That refugees and migrants be welcomed — not banned — because of their religion, race or nationality. The U.S. handpicks refugees who resettle here and they go through security screenings and an extensive vetting check involving multiple intelligence agencies.
• That we build a bridge, not a wall (costing the U.S. taxpayers $60 billion) with the Mexican government, which makes our borders and economy more secure.
Iowa and the U.S. benefit immensely from immigrants. Research by the University of Nebraska at Omaha shows that in 2010 immigrants in Iowa contributed nearly $2.8 billion in total production to Iowa’s state economy, creating over 22,000 jobs. Removing immigrants from the labor force would cost Iowa $12 billion, 4.2 percent of total production, and 47,000 jobs. Newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue noted that “American agriculture relies on immigration.”
Learn more from Margaret Regan, award-winning journalist and author. She will speak March 29 at 6:30 p.m. at The Canticle, 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton, on the “Immigrant Families Under Fire — A Call to Compassion in the Heartland.”
Sister Nancy Miller, OSF
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton